Big Oil is gouging
California consumers

Oil prices are down, but profits for Big Oil are soaring to record heights, along with punishing gas prices for California consumers

  • Since August, the price of crude oil fell from $100 per barrel to $80 per barrel in early February.  
  • But gas prices in California remain among the highest in the nation with the average price per gallon in the state at $4.61. 
  • Oil companies in California more than doubled profits per gallon in 2022 over average profits during the past 20 years.   
  • Four of California refiners posted a combined $72.5 billion in record-breaking windfall profits last year, nearly tripling 2021 profits.
  • These refiners will owe Californians rebates of $3.3 billion if lawmakers pass a windfall profits cap of 50 cents per gallon this year.

Although oil refiners are enjoying record windfall profits, the paychecks for working- and middle-class people are taking an enormous hit, forcing families to make difficult pocketbook decisions between the need to commute and the rising costs of living.

But if oil prices are falling, why are gas prices far higher in California than in the rest of the country, and who is responsible for this rank fleecing of the state’s drivers?

Just five oil refiners produce nearly 100 percent of the gas sold in California, and they set the price per gallon at every gas station in the state. Four of them so far have reported quarterly profits 30% greater from California than from anywhere else.

These companies like to blame supply chain disruptions, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and California’s own gas taxes as the reasons for the high price at the pump. But those are just more big lies from Big Oil, which deceived the American people for decades over its outsize contribution to the climate crisis.

This rampant price gouging by oil companies and the outrageous windfall profits earned on the backs of hard-working Californians need to stop.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has called a special session of the state legislature to vote on a windfall profits tax on these companies that will be sent directly back to California consumers in the form of rebates.

Over the last two decades, California oil refiners have averaged about 30 cents per gallon in profits, and rarely made more than 50 cents per gallon in profit. Now some oil refiners are raking in more than $1 per gallon in profits. With Governor Newsom's price gouging rebate, the excess profits oil companies make from manipulating the market will go back to California drivers.  Oil refiners will have to return to the public whatever profits they make over 50 cents per gallon.

If you’re done with Big Oil fleecing you and every other hard-working resident of California, join EWG and fight back: Tell the politicians in Sacramento you’ve had enough!

Gavin Newsom
Governor Gavin Newsom
It’s time to hold 
them accountable.

Five oil companies – Phillips 66, Valero, Marathon, Chevron and PBF Energy – have been fleecing California drivers this year, hauling in record windfall profits of more than $1 billion, while at the same time jacking up the price of gas in the state so it’s twice as high as the nationwide average.

This rampant gouging by these oil companies must end, and the outrageous windfall profits, money taken from the pockets of hard-working Californians, need to be returned. It’s time for our elected leaders in Sacramento to stand up for California consumers and end the oil industry shakedown. 


We’re not going to stand by while greedy oil companies fleece Californians.

Instead, I’m calling for a windfall tax to ensure excess oil profits go back to help millions of Californians who are getting ripped off.


CA Retail Gasoline Price & Crude Oil Costs
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Environmental Working Group
Know your choices

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